Demystifying the Art of Storyboarding

It’s been two months since we shifted to our new bungalow. Some two years back when we visited our builders, they gave us the design plan of the bungalow. The plan was a diagrammatic representation of what would constitute the bungalow. Further we were apprised of the facilities the bungalow would carry and of course how the bungalow would look like.

The builders also showed us a model of the bungalow. It was a clay model.

We registered this picture of our prospective fairy tale bungalow in our minds. All the while when the bungalow was getting built, we were hoping that it would look exactly the same as the clay model and the design specifications would be the same as promised to us.

Thanks to the builders. The bungalow that was finally delivered to us is just the same as the clay model we had seen at the builders’ site. I am sure if the house had looked little unlike the model that we had seen, we would have sued the builders.

You must be thinking why am I talking about my house when I am supposed to talk bout Storyboarding.

Well, I was just trying to draw out a parallel to explain what a Storyboard is.

Just like the clay model of my home, a Storyboard is a model or a prototype of an e-learning course that is yet to be developed. The Storyboard gives the client a clue as to how the digitized course will look like. Most fresh Instructional Designers are not sure how to Storyboard or what to Storyboard.

Storyboarding is not just

  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Proof Reading
  • Adding images and interactivity

Effective Storyboarding includes

  • Thinking in a structured fashion
  • Analytical thinking
  • Putting your visualization skills into action
  • Putting your creative skills to use
  • Writing precisely, logically and coherently

Most often the Analysis and Design document just gives you cues on how the course has to look like. If you are writing a Storyboard, you actually have to give shape to the course, and ultimately make it beneficial to the end users.

When you Storyboard, you are prone to making so many errors. An Instructional Design Reviewer may identify the following defects:

  • Illogical course flow
  • No transition from one topic to the other
  • Notes to the programmer – ambiguous
  • Learning objectives not satisfied
  • Missing information
  • No assessment items
  • No interactivity
  • Poor assessment item design
  • Long sentences
  • Ambiguous sentences
  • Too many lines in a slide

And the list goes on and on…

When you Storyboard, you just have to keep too many things in mind:

  • The Target Audience
  • Content Outline
  • Learning Objectives
  • Course Flow
  • Instructional Design Strategy
  • Language
  • Assessments
  • Interactivity
  • Media elements ( Images, Videos etc)

Here again the list goes on…

In my next post I would teach you how to Storyboard.

So watch out for my post.


2 Responses

  1. I have joined as an Instructional Designer recently. I was a content writer previously and my content writing involved generic topics which did not call for any of the actual nuances of an Instructional Designing and much of PC literacy. I am determined to take up the new assignment with confidence and I need substantial guidance. Can you be of help to me in this regard?
    I look forward to your assistance.

  2. very good morning
    For the past 7 years i’ve been in teaching profession and i alos had an experience of content writing,ofcourse it is more related to academics rather than general.
    Recently I’ve joined in an institution to take up instructional designing course. Iwas given a simple assignment on storyboarding and runsheet preparation. The topic is “communication skills-giving instructions and directions”
    I had gone thru your wonderful column. I think u r the right person to guide me. Hope u will consider my request.


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